Headlines have declared that the Texas Farm Bureau has banned all Nike apparel for its staff over the brand’s decision to feature controversial former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in its advertising. The Texas Farm Bureau, however, says that’s not quite right.
“This is not a political statement on our behalf. This is not a judgement. This is not a social statement,” Texas Farm Bureau chief operating officer Si Cook says in a video statement.
Cook explains in the video that the organization has not placed a blanket ban on all Nike apparel. The ban is only on clothing that has both the Texas Farm Bureau logo and the Nike logo.
“We began to get reports from the field that some of our members were taking exception to employee apparel provided by the company that contained the Farm Bureau logo and the Nike logo,” Cook explains. “We made the collective business decision that we would phase that apparel out.”
Cook says Farm Bureau employees can continue to wear other Nike branded clothing as long as it does not also carry the Texas Farm Bureau logo and meets the organization’s dress code.
“We have members on both sides of this issue,” Cook says. “So we have simply made the business decision to take our companies out of the controversy.”
Nike sparked the controversy by selecting Kaepernick as the spokesman for its latest advertising campaign highlighting his sideline protests where he kneeled during the National Anthem while he played for the NFL.
Watch Cook’s complete statement in the video below.